Put Your Questions To The PC Doctor

Posted on: 22 December 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Computers can be baffling and sometimes downright infuriating. Help is at hand with 50connect’s PC Doctor.

Most of us occasionally find the world of computing frustrating. Computers can seem to take on a life of their own making you feel like you’re not really in control.

The lovely people at zuuMedia are on hand to ease your computer woes with simple, practical advice.

Whatever your problem, large or small, software or hardware, they will give you simple to follow solutions to make your computer behave how you want it to.

If you have a question you want answered, comment in the box below or email it to connect@50connect.com with the subject "PC Doctor" and the PC Doctor will respond on this page.

Deborah from Hull asks:

I use windows. How do I password protect my documents to keep them from prying eyes?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing more information, not because it is difficult to accomplish but there are a number of different options depending on the version of Windows you are running and the manufacturer of your PC. In a nutshell there are two ways to accomplish this.

1. Different Windows accounts:  Create separate Windows accounts (with passwords) for each user of the PC.  All information belonging to each user is separated and can only be accessed by that user's password - including bookmarks, documents and email. Essentially each user has their own 'desktop' and 'My Documents' specific to them.  Other users won't even see the folders with your documents.  This is used commonly by families who share computers.

2. Encryption: This encrypts all data in selected folders and only people with the password can access them.  Some manufacturers include this as standard (Acer for example) and some versions of Vista have it built in.  Otherwise, you can purchase encryption software like PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) which is an industry standard.  This is the sort of thing that should be used by road warriors (who don't share their computer) as if someone steals their laptop their data will still be safe.  The government could do with making this mandatory on their laptops as all those records they have a habit of losing would be fairly safe had they been encrypted.

Please remember with both these options, losing your password is not an option, you lose it and you may you lose your data as often the passwords can't be broken very easily even by computer experts.

George from Durham asks:

I keep getting returned emails from addresses I don’t know. Is this a virus?

Without looking at the email in question it is difficult to say for sure but the most likely case is that someone is sending spam and using your email address as the 'reply to' and 'sent from' address. 

It is very annoying but unfortunately there is little you can do about it.

Yolande from London asks:

I use a laptop and sometimes the fan gets very loud. Is this a sign of an underlying problem?

Some fans are always loud and some become loud when they get hot. Often it can be a simple case of dust/lint build up. 

If you give your computer a clean by using compressed air (which you can buy from a PC shop or office stationary shop online) to blow out the dust inside it and on the fan there is very good chance that the noise will go away.  I clean my computers this way every few months and the noise drops dramatically.

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